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‘Residents to blame for poor service delivery’

Former Ward 14 councillor Alderman Phinias Ndlovu has blamed poor service delivery in the city on non-payment of bills by ratepayers.

Alderman Ndlovu made these remarks during a sideline interview with CITE at the FLEX Clinic third year anniversary celebrations in Lobengula suburb on Saturday.

He reiterated that residents pay using the local currency which quickly deteriorates in value leaving the local authority struggling with acquiring enough funds for service delivery.

“The Bulawayo City Council is struggling to source funds for service delivery. Residents are unwilling to part with their foreign currency towards the city council. They would rather go to money changers, convert their money to RTGS then deposit the local currency to the council. At the end of the day this money quickly loses value before the council can use it for the benefit of the city,” said Alderman Ndlovu.

Ndlovu suggested that the council adopt a policy that will make residents pay their bills timely, citing that they (residents) relax because they know there are no penalties for late payment.

“The state of roads is deplorable, council has no money to fix the roads, no money to fuel machinery needed to fix the roads. All because people are not paying what is due to the council. We have normalised the anomaly. It is not true that people do not have money, there just aren’t any stern measures to motivate people to pay,” he said.

“When we were growing up we knew that all rates were supposed to be paid within the first seven days of the month but lately that is no longer enforced. People knew that if they surpassed seven days they would be thrown out of their homes, nowadays none of that is being enforced.”

Alderman Ndlovu said the poor service delivery has also affected the health department.

“People go to health centers seeking medical attention but they do not get any medication. They are given prescriptions for them to buy their medication on their own. They end up spending too much money than they should all because the council health centers are not well equipped. But back then when payment of rates was being enforced we knew that patients could get medication at local clinics.”

Alderman Ndlovu implored the residents to vote into office people who own properties around the city as they are in a better position to protect the interests of the city.

He emphasised on the importance of conducting background checks on candidates before voting for them.

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